Westfield 'Bradford hole' retail centre work to restart
Work on a stalled major shopping centre in the heart of Bradford is to restart later this year, MPs have been told.
Work started at the city centre site in March 2004, but was halted by developers Westfield in February 2008.
Local residents have since nicknamed the 12-acre building site the "Bradford hole".
Tony Reeves, Bradford Council's chief executive, told MPs Westfield's latest shareholders report promised work would restart "in the second half of 2013".
In the report, Westfield confirmed work was "anticipated to commence" in Bradford.'Real confidence'
Mr Reeves was responding to a question from Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies who sits on the Commons Culture Committee.
Mr Davies described the Westfield development as "so important to getting footfall into the city centre".
According to Mr Reeves, Westfield said construction work at the Bradford site would take about two years to complete once it had restarted.
"We have real confidence that Westfield will achieve that aim and so they will be on site this year and building," he said.
A £300,000 temporary urban park was opened on part of the derelict site in July 2010.
Last year, protesters camped on the building site urging Westfield to restart construction work there.
The Westfield Group operates 119 shopping centres across the world including in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and UK.